Blog #2

Picking up from your Blog post #1, analyze the motivation behind your fandom, using any theories from class readings thus far.

Feel free to refer to/quote (short) passages from the texts.

20 thoughts on “Blog #2”

  1. My fandom happened mostly to empower myself during my lowest time. I was being pessimistic and was not able to find hope in the midst of hardship. The only thing I could think of was to quit working out and to give up my bodybuilding lifestyle. There seemed to be no way for me to get out of the situation. However, my mind craved for a solution. As a result, my fandom was created in order to guide me through the problems. The experience I had is at par with the theory discussed by Lawrence Grossberg in his article “Is there fandom in the house?”. In the article, he talked about fandom being the site of optimism which is necessary for any struggle to change the condition of one’s life. In my experience, it is for me get over my failure in working out which is having little to none progress.

  2. I think that the reasons I became a fan of Celine Dion mostly fall in line with Stever’s approach to fandom. My love of Celine Dion and her music did not originate with a singular event, nor did it with the need to feel empowered. I was essentially brainwashed as a child to enjoy her as a celebrity. This fandom was placed upon me. Feeling positively towards her and actively pursuing her music are natural responses to only ever having positive associations with her. Our para-social relationship was not originally para-social in this case because her side was represented by a multitude of people in my life as opposed to me being the one who experienced her product myself. However, at this point in time it has transitioned into a para-social relationship. For some reason, I am the only one left of my family who is still an active fan of her and her music.

  3. I think that the motivation behind my fandom relates to what Stever said in her explanation of the life stage theories. She says that “An adolescent in the midst of an identity crisis looks for role models to emulate”. Being 13 years old at the time, I was just figuring out who I was. I wanted someone to look up to, that wasn’t just the people I see every day. I wanted to be like the people in the band, especially the girl member, Rydel. Seeing as though I could also relate to them with the family dynamic made me want to be like them even more. I not only experienced this with just the band R5, but with another singer, Ariana Grande. I think that when you are just discovering yourself, it is very easy to want to become like other people, especially people who are put on a pedestal in the media, until you find who you really are. It is not necessarily an attachment to the celebrity, as seen in the other articles, but more admiration.

  4. The motivation behind my fandom begun with Alissa Violet when I realized that we had a lot in common in the realm of what she was going through in her last toxic relationship. She was being emotionally abused by someone she was in love with and it was hard for her to let go of it until she got kicked out of the house that they lived in together. But after that time, she became a stronger person and is now has a successful modeling career. In a time where I was feeling very vulnerable and confused, hearing her story made me realize that if she got through it, I could do it too. In the passage ” Is there a Fan in the House? ” by Lawrence Grossberg he states that “people are constantly struggling, not merely to figure out what a text means, but to make it mean something that connects to their own, lives, experiences, needs and desires” and this is true because in my situation, to understand Alissa’s story, I had to relate it to the situation that I went through. She helped me to get back on my feet and notice what it meant to love myself and to understand my self-worth. Close friends and family would always give me advice on situations like this and I tried to understand what they were saying, but I couldn’t. When I watched her video it showed me that people who seem so perfect actually go through the same things as us and that anyone could overcome the pain, no matter how bad it was. You just have to be willing to try.

  5. My fandom for Meghan Trainor can be best described by Grossberg’s point of view. From that first time that I payed attention the lyrics of her song, I felt empowered and confident. Through her songs, I forget those feelings of insecurity and slowly start to believe that what makes me different from the rest is exactly what makes me unique and beautiful in my own way. In her song “All about that bass” she focuses mostly on the fact that she does not fit into societies’ norm of beauty due to her weight, and although I do not have the same problem as her, I can relate to the part where she says that all of the pictures we see on magazines are photoshopped and that we should not believe them. I completely agree with that, we are constantly surrounded by these photoshopped pictures of models who even stop looking like themselves in the pictures, and that only gives us, the audience, unrealistic expectations that we try to live up to and obviously fail at. Until we realize that it is impossible to look like the models do in their photoshopped pictures, we will never be happy, and that is exactly what Meghan Trainor has helped me realize.

  6. I think the motivation behind me being such an avid participant in my fandom doesn’t pertain to any of the theories discussed. When I was 14, I wasn’t going through any isolation problems nor any trauma. I didn’t sought out role models purposely because I didn’t think I needed them at that time. I didn’t connect myself romantically to the band members of One Direction. I think I admired them so much because they proved to me me there were kindhearted, genuine, humble celebrities out there, in fact, 5 of them who were also best friends. Nothing else. Maybe I’m being oblivious and that’s not the real motivation, but it’s the only reason coming to me. But I will say that I enjoy indulging in the fandom so much because at the beginning, it gave me a sense of belonging. I was connecting with girls my age who felt the way I did, who looked at the band the same way I did. The fandom wasn’t/isn’t a way to escape trauma for me, but maybe just little real life problems that I don’t want to deal with at the moment. I enter a realm where nothing’s of importance except for how the members dressed the day before in photos. Nothing’s changed, even now.

  7. My fandom regarding the pop punk band, All Time Low can be described by the paper written by Gayle S. Stever, “Fan Behavior and Lifespan Development Theory: Explaining Para-social and Social Attachment to Celebrities.” During this particular time in my life I was having trouble with accepting who I was and turned to these artists to help heal my pain. As Stever says,”The issue involved is the degree to which para-social and social attachments to celebrities are a positive influence versus a negative influence in the life of the fan.” Here she explains that fans turn to celebrities when they are in a time of crisis, which is exactly what I did. As I became more affiliated with the band I used them as a model to use to better myself. Alex, the lead singer especially made me realize that perseverance is key. He taught me that the bad times won’t last forever, someone does care about you, and you can better yourself. Thus from that point on I tried to be more like Alex so that I could eventually find myself.

  8. The motivation behind my fandom is supported by Stever’s theory of a young adult looking up to role models when they feel insecure, that they don’t belong, or that they have no one to relate too. I turned to Jennifer Lopez’s words and her story after feeling the strong pain of my father’s passing. She provided me with an outlet in which I can relate to and feel understood, feel that it is okay to experience a loss. She taught me that I have my family beside me who is also going through this passing. We mourn together and we learn together. I feel like the part of me that was missing is now being filled with the amazing feeling that I have a support system, and that my family has a support system. We have each other, and JLo taught me a lot about what I am now even more grateful for than I ever have been.

  9. I think the motivation behind my fandom goes along with Stever’s approach, purely based upon the fact that I looked up to Gracie Gold as a role model. I never struggled with finding good role models; at the time of the 2014 winter Olympics I loved ice skating, and there was a young american girl who loves ice skating just like me on my T.V screen and I knew that I wanted to be just like her. Stever discusses fandoms as a psychological experience that everyone goes through in all stages of life. No matter how old or how young people cling to ideas of being just like their role models. The way I strive to be powerful, strong willed, and successful like Gracie Gold on and off the ice (more off the ice than on the ice because I stopped ice skating), and to emulate ideals that she stands for because I resonate with them, is what drives my fandom.

  10. I think the motivation behind my fandom relates to one statement Greg Plitt made. he said :” In life, it’s not the most genetic person who wins or the guy who has the most potential to win. It’s the person with PERSEVERANCE who wins. Always wants to get up and go at it again.” After failed again and again, I thought something goes wrong maybe it’s time to stop. However, his speech totally changed my mind, and inspired me not to give up. I wanna be the guy who always wants to get up and go at it again and try to move free and further. The lessons I’ve learned along my journey proved that there are many situation in life, where you denied yourself, you questioned yourself about life. But life doesn’t come easy. It’s either you want to be the shark of the ocean, or the fish in the ocean. Now, I want to be the shark, and I’m ready for any challenge.

  11. The motivation behind my fandom initiated from the moment when I was stressed by the pressure of my family’s expectations of me. I was not close with my family because I was tired of hearing of their comments on my schoolwork. I felt that they didn’t give me the empowerment I need when I needed it. When I read the story about Darwin and Wallace, their story give me empowerment that brought me the courage I needed. Just like the theory from Grossberg’s writing, fandom gives people a feeling of belonging in a community . I felt like I’m not the only one that needs some encouragement and not the only one that needs someone to talk out their feelings. Darwin’s story give me the feeling of belonging that I needed desperately at the time. Even though my relationship with my family has got a lot better and I have friends to share my thoughts. Darwin’s story was always one of the major event that influenced me to this present day.

  12. I think the reason I became a fan of the Golden State Warriors follows Steevers approach, because I envied that the Golden State Warriors worked so well as a team. Every pass was on time, and every shot was just as good as the last. I loved playing basketball with my brothers, and I wanted to strengthen our team work skills in order to beat the team we were up against. I wanted to be just as good as the Golden State Warriors. Stevers idea of fandom is that everyone has someone that they look up to, it doesn’t matter who you are; it’s a fact. Just like I wanted to be like the Golden State Warriors, so too other people have someone that they look up to and want to be just like them. The way that I push myself to become better at playing basketball and making my team stronger is why I am a fan of the Golden State Warriors. The Golden State Warriors inspire me to work my hardest and strive towards my greatest goals.

  13. I think the motivation behind my fandom is the empowerment that Whitney Houston gave me. Houston once asked “God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?” These words brought a feeling of encouragement to my inner soul when I felt the connection between Houston and my mother, who would also never forget to mention that God had given me a voice to sing that I needed to use. Like Hinderman’s theory of fan empowerment, it was most apparent that I experienced the same motivation to continue singing in the choir at church. My stage fright mixed in with the clamminess of my hands and sweat dripping down my spine from the back of my neck nearly every time someone handed me a microphone. Houston’s quote allowed me to conquer over my fear of opening my mouth and become one of the loudest yet most angelic singers in the choir. Although I’m not obsessively attached to Houston, she’s an icon of encouragement.

  14. The reason I became the fan of Sandeep Maheshwari was it made me learnt that time plays a big role in our lives and we should try our best to utilize it in a good way as he gave an example related to it that even if we don’t want to do something related to our career we should try to do something out of it. However,it changed my views towards the utilization of time in a good way which related to Grossberg’s article “Is there fandom in the house?” As the article states that someone views or thinking can change the any other individual views on the same situation where the first person has already faced that situation and other individuals are getting motivated and having the same mindset as the first person.

  15. It was my freshmen year of high school when I first started to become a fan of EXO, a popular Korean band. My fascination for EXO was due to my friends forcing me to play a game that involved the members of the band. Becoming very fascinated, I went home and did a research on the members wanting to know more about them. There was one member of the group that caught my liking and I researched more about him than any other member. I became a stalker of sorts watching all the shows he’s been on and his singing is the best. As Stever says, “The proximity seeking system is engaged just as it would be in a relationship with a child or a romantic partner”. Before college had started, I had his picture everywhere because looking at them mad me happy and less stressful. The shows that he’s been on are hilarious and are able to make me forget about the real world, if only for a minute. For my entire high school life, I would listen to his songs and watch his shows just to relieve stress and I got through high school because of him. His encouragements sometimes help to want to do better in school and the things he says makes him a model for the boyfriend I want. There’s many fans who dream about dating their idols and believe they are theirs and I think it’s taking it to the extreme but as a fan I sort of know their feelings. I also have those daydreams sometimes too, but I know it’s impossible and I don’t really have hopes of it happening. It would be nice to date someone famous though. I may sound like a crazy fan, but out of assurance I am not. I had idolized him for his singing skills wishing I had those abilities. He was my getaway from reality to fantasy.

  16. The motivation behind my fandom with Miley Cyrus relates to Stever when he says fan activity was a way to feel young again. This example was explained through Erikson’s life stage theories, specifically for fans in their middle ages. I thought this related to me as a child because growing up I was obsessed with Miley’s role as Hannah Montana for several years. During this time, watching the Hannah Montana show on Disney Channel almost all the time and attending Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concerts multiple times, made me look up to her as a role model. Usually children grow out of the shows they were once infatuated with during their childhood, but after I grew up and the show and concerts had ended, Miley continued her singing career and I still felt connected to her through her music. Stever also discusses fans having a fascination with the celebrity’s face through their photograph, and I found this true as well because I followed her social media pages and constantly followed her posts. When Miley cut off all her hair and came out with other music, portraying herself in a unique way, she received a lot of hate but I realized that the fans that watched her growing up as kids are now teenagers, including myself, and should be mature enough to respect her as a fan still. My fandom with Miley reminds me of my younger self and this is why I feel my fandom continues. 

  17. In Stever’s theory of fandom she expresses fandom in a positive light as she shows how it can heighten and individual’s happiness. Although, she also acknowledges the dark and unhealthy domain that fandom can influence, for the most part Stever expresses an idea that fandom is not always as extreme as some may think. Stever’s theory, I feel, is similar, if not spot on, to my motivation behind my fandom. I am not interested in being involved in the community of fans of Kim Heechul, rather this relationship I’ve created is like what Gayle S. Stever touched upon in her writing where she mentions, “average people who engage in para-social and social attatchments to celebrities”, perfectly defines me. Her theory relates to me in the sense that I’ve taken part in a one-sided connection with this celebrity. I’m always thinking about him and talking about him as though I know him and as if our relationship is something more, though in reality it is a fantasy. However, as the point Stever makes of the healthy side of these cases, I feel this para-social connection has helped me in terms of happiness. Stever states, “for the young adult it is intimacy versus isolation.” In this quote, she is describing the crisis within each stage of one’s life that can call for comfort leading to the individual turning to celebrity culture for that. I would consider the young adult crisis to match me pretty well as I am always feeling lonely due to my lack of friends, which mostly stems from my lack of social skills, desire to be alone, and my tendency to push others away. At the same time I feel conflicted because I do not want to be close with anyone either. Therefore I found solace in this celebrity by noticing our similarities and using him as a way to fill the need for another’s company while still being able to preserve my solitarity. Even if that company is one-sided and only in my head it suffices at times to make the loneliness less hard to handle. In this way it goes with Stever’s point of how some cope through hard times using celebrity culture and fandoms.

  18. The motivation behind my fandom experience can be supported with Lawrence Grossberg’s theory. According to his theory, fans invest in certain texts, which enable them to gain certain control over their life, investing in new forms of meaning and pleasure in order to cope with pain and pessimism. My fandom experience was an attempt to address a life situation, particularly coping through a heartache. This is the pain I was experiencing. I started to read R.H Sin’s books during a time when I felt as if I was losing myself. His books provided me with a sense of empowerment during a low emotional state and how to overcome it through internal growth. In overcoming it, I learned self-love and value, while developing a new, broad and optimistic outlook on life. His books played a major role in overcoming my hardship. Just as Grossberg states, I was empowered in the sense that I was capable of moving on and making a difference within myself.

  19. My fandom for Rich Chigga is an empowerment for me during my hardest time. This theory is described by Grossberg stating that fandom can be used to help someone who is in struggle. It also works as an effective platform to help someone out of the situation. When I was rejected by my parents about my dreams, it was terrifying and hopeless. After all, I hope to achieve something in order to make my parents proud about. Getting such a big rejection from my parents shut me out for a moment but after knowing Rich Chigga’s story and the effort he paid in order to achieve his dream. I realize that I will need to keep working hard to chase my dream instead of giving up just because of a few rejections from my parents. Since then, I always embrace the quote “When there is a will, there is a way,” and only by not giving up, we will be able to achieve the dream.

  20. I believe the cause for my fandom came from a desire to fit in, and feel as though I was not alone and no the only one who had gone through hard times. It was both Hinderman and Grossberg that helped me to realize the truth behind the fandom I had for Demi Lovato. it was not only empowering to see that a celebrity had gone through the same thing as me, but also an inspiration to push through the hard times to the better times that would be ahead. By watching someone in the spotlight who I looked up to get through something as awful as bullying gave me the strength to push through it as well. These articles helped me see the reason I had become such a big fan was because I felt personally connected and believed that by following her lead I could overcome the current obstacle in my life.

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